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Home » Ontario County » Canandaigua » Lake House on Canandaigua announces new general manager, director of guest experiences

Lake House on Canandaigua announces new general manager, director of guest experiences

Big changes coming to Canandaigua as Lake House sets to open

– By Josh Durso

The Lake House on Canandaigua has announced two new hires to lead the hotel when it opens in 2020.

The hotel is currently in development by the Sands Family, designed by The Brooklyn Home Company and New York-based firm Studio Tack.

Simon Dewar and Jennifer Hess will serve as General Manager and Director of Guest Experiences respectively, according to an update from the Lake House on Tuesday.

The 125-room hotel will open by the start of next summer. The development of the hotel is led by Caleo and Doug Bennett, the grandchildren of Marvin and Mickey Sands, founders of the Canandaigua Wine Company.

Formerly a rustic motor lodge owned by the Sands family, The Lake House will offer a residentially-inspired and design forward-hotel, creating a new destination for travelers seeking an active wellness retreat in Upstate New York.

The New Hires

A native of the United Kingdom, Simon Dewar joins The Lake House as General Manager. Dewar is a graduate of The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, after which he was commissioned into Queen Elizabeth II’s Lancashire Regiment, where he spent 17 years as an Infantry Officer retiring as a Major. Following his military service, he trained as a chef in both the United Kingdom and the United States, launching his career in hospitality. He joins with nearly 10 years of hotel management experience from the historic seaside Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, Rhode Island, and the four-star Blantyre in Western Massachusetts.

“Joining the diverse team of creatives behind The Lake House marks an exciting new chapter for my career in hospitality,” Dewar said. “Pulling from my experiences running successful inns and rural luxury properties, it is truly and honor to help craft the special experience here for the community of Canandaigua and the Sands family. I am a firm believer in leading by example and being extremely hands- on with all departments to provide guests and patrons with the best experience possible.”

Jennifer Hess joins The Lake House as Director of Guest Experiences. As a local cultural and recreational expert for the Finger Lakes Region, she will create corporate and VIP retreats for guests, offering wellness and yoga programming, and tours of surrounding natural beauty. Hess is the co-founder of Finger Lakes Yogascapes, which offers indoor and outdoor yoga practice, including wedding yoga and her favorite – “snowga,” or snow shoe yoga. An avid fitness guru, Hess regularly completes marathons and triathlons. Her educational background includes a Master of Fine Arts from The School of American Craft at Rochester Institute of Technology in Furniture Design and Woodworking.

“Through my new position with The Lake House, I am thrilled to be bringing my two passions together – fitness and hospitality,” Hess added. “I enjoy empowering people to accomplish their personal and health goals through my work, and I look forward to working with our future guests to enrich their travel experiences and perfect their practice. My favorite thing to do on Canandaigua Lake is yoga on the dock in the early morning and I can’t wait to create that same serenity for future guests.”

The Lake House redevelopment team includes The Brooklyn Home Company, Studio Tack, SWBR Architects, LeChase Construction, Passero Associates Engineering and HB Cornerstone. Reservations are anticipated to be available later this month and beyond. For more information on the upcoming debut of The Lake House on Canandaigua, please visit:

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